My love and affinity for cabaret performance has its roots in the folksong revival of the late 50¡¯s, early 60¡¯s.Upon reflection it was these performances, this ethic, which was really my introduction to cabaret (intimate performance in smoke-filled rooms), for though the material was ¡°folk song¡± the presentation was really theater; when one listens to the music of that day as it was presented under the dramatic lighting in those clubs (coffee houses) you can hear it was very theatrical, polished, not in a bad way (at least the best of it) but designed to hold an audience, modulated in harmonic and dramatic interest as the song wore on, to keep a carefully listening audience intrigued. The best of these acts (Ian and Sylvia come to mind) were truly scholars of this material, digging deep into folk song tradition and archives to find the most salient versions and then presenting them with the best possible musicianship. It was show business but show business with a heart and a great soul, with deep roots  in humanity and its stories.

 

And of course there was the witty and/or informative repartee that went on between the songs that truly marked these performances as ¡°entertainment¡± in the best sense. However, the style of cabaret that my little troupe ¡°Prisoners in Paradise¡± got in to was much more in line with its German predecessor from the Weimer Republic ¨CSchall und Rauch, Die Katakombe, Kabaret der Komiker - sketch comedy, topical songs, monologues of a more political nature (although these descriptions can certainly apply to at least some of the material in that 60¡¯s coffee house repertoire)

  

Here is a partial list of shows ¨C

¡°PRISONERS IN PARADISE¡±
¡°PRISONERS IN PARADISE ¨C A NIGHT AT THE SANDPIPER¡±
¡°WHAT DO YOU PUT IN A BIG BOX?¡±
¡°THE VALENTINE SHOW¡±

¡°IN HIS PRESENTS¡± (a Christmas offering)
¡°THROUGH THE PRISM GATES¡±
¡°CHRISTMAS IS EVERYBODY¡¯S BIRTHDAY¡±
¡°POP! ¨C AN ORIGINAL JUKEBOX¡±
¡°RISE & SHINE: A SORT OF FAITH-LIFT¡±
¡°NO AXES TO GRIND¡± (with George Herms)

 
 

Copyright 2003-2007 Mark Turnbull

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